Hunting & Fishing

Central Vermont offers a variety of warm-water and cold-water fishing opportunities. Sections of two of Vermont’s largest and most productive trout streams, the Lamoille and Winooski rivers, as well as the Waterbury and Green River reservoirs are found here in Central Vermont. It is also home to the Dog River, one of Vermont’s top wild trout streams, and the Woodbury-Calais Lakes Region, which offers good to excellent fishing for trout, bass, and panfish.

Fish commonly found in Vermont’s waters include landlocked salmon, yellow perch, brook trout, lake trout, brown trout, rainbow trout, largemouth and smallmouth bass, and northern pike. Among the most popular ice fishing species are salmon, lake trout, walleye, and northern pike.

Open water fishing season in Vermont begins the second Saturday in April, when the statewide season for trout and salmon opens on inland lakes and streams. Ice fishing season on lakes with no trout & salmon begins with the onset of safe ice, usually late December or early January. Most large cold water lakes that have a closed season for trout and salmon also have a special ice fishing season for trout, salmon, and bass that typically opens on the third Saturday in January and closes the second Sunday in March. Check the guide to Hunting, Fishing, and Trapping Laws for regulations on the water you intend to fish. It is available free at all hunting and fishing license agents. You may also contact the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department at 802-241-3700 or look them up on the web at

Fly Fishing-
The Mad River Valley has numerous streams to explore on your own or with a guide. There are several guide services also offering instruction.
Clearwater Sports Waitsfield 802-496-2708
Fly Fishing Warren Ron Majorell 888-459-9183
R & L Archery Barre Chris Sanborn 802-479-9151
Reel Vermont Calais Don Heise 802-223-1869
Uncle Jammer’s Guide Service Underhill James Ehlers 800-805-6495
Valley Anglers LLC. Mad River Valley Jack 802-279-7246
VT Fly Fishing Guides Waitsfield Andy Yager 802-496-6387

Ice Fishing-
Be sure to follow these safty tips when ice fishing
(Courtesy of Vermont Fish & Wildlife)

•Let someone know about your plans — where you intend to fish and when you expect to return.
•Wear a personal flotation device and don’t fish alone.
•Always carry an ice spud or chisel to check ice thickness and condition as you proceed.
•Be extremely cautious crossing ice near river mouths, points of land, bridges, islands, and over reefs and springs. Current causes ice to be thinner over these areas.
•Avoid going onto the ice if it has melted away from the shore. This indicates melting is underway, and ice can shift position as wind direction changes.
•Waves from open water can quickly break up large areas of ice. If you can see open water in the lake and the wind picks up, get off!
•Carry a set of hand spikes to help you work your way out onto the surface of the ice if you go through. Holding one in each hand, you can alternately punch them into the ice and pull yourself up and out.
•Carry a safety line that can be thrown to someone who has gone through the ice.
•Heated fishing shanties must have good ventilation to prevent deadly carbon monoxide poisoning. Open a window or the door part way to allow in fresh air.
•Leave your car or truck on shore.

Vermont has more than 800,000 acres of public hunting areas. Four of Vermont’s most popular game include White-Tailed Deer, Black Bears, Wild Turkeys and Moose.

We are a top deer hunting state. In recent years, the overall deer harvest has been about 20,000, which means Vermont hunters harvest more than 1 million pounds of lean, healthy venison annually. Hunters enjoy three separate deer hunting seasons; firearm season, bow-and-arrow season, and muzzleloader season. They begin mid October and end in mid December. The statewide deer population is about 150,000.

Black bears are Vermont’s most reclusive big-game animal. They inhabit the most remote regions of the state and are seldom encountered. Yet Vermont has one of the densest black bear populations in the east, and bear numbers are steadily growing. According to the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife, the statewide bear population is estimated at 3,000 to 3,500.

Wild Turkeys inhabit all suitable habitat in Vermont. Prime areas consist of a mix of agricultural land and forested areas. Working dairy farms nearby mature stands of nut-bearing oak and hickory trees are especially productive. However, wherever one hunts the key to success is pre-season scouting and securing landowner permission. The estimated statewide flock numbers about 30,000.

Moose are Vermont’s largest big-game animal, and Vermont’s moose herd is big and getting bigger. Hunting is permt-only in designated zones. Seasons are set annually in the spring, and moose-hunting permits are awarded by lottery in the summer; 10 percent of permits are reserved for nonresidents.

For more information on permit applications and a complete description of Vermont’s hunting seasons and regulations, be sure to pick up a copy of the Vermont Guide to Hunting, Fishing, and Trapping Laws. It is available free at all hunting and fishing license agents. You may also contact the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife at 103 So. Main Street, Waterbury, VT 05671-0501. 802-241-3700 or find them on the web at

Hunting guides are also available at the following locations:
Spikehorn Ridge Washington Reilly McCue 802-439-5836

Hunting & Fishing Licenses-
You can buy hunting and fishing licenses at many convenience stores and town offices. You can also purchess them at the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife at 103 So. Main Street, Waterbury, VT 05671-0501.
802-241-3700 or find them on the web at

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